A French château formerly owned by Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis was purchased by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich about two decades ago but has been confiscated by local authorities.
Built in the late 1920s for a newspaper magnate, the 26,000 square-foot Victorian-style mansion with a rooftop pool sits isolated at the tip of the Cap d’Antibes on a 18-acre property.
The property was previously the residence of several crowned heads. King Edward VIII moved in just after he controversially abdicated in 1937 to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson.
The château was then owned in the 1950s by billionaire Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis and later by his lifelong rival, Stavros Niarchos.
A fire destroyed part of the property in the 1970s, and it remained abandoned for decades until Abramovich swooped in and spent more than 150 million euros on renovations over the years.
Ownership: Abramovich has never made a secret of owning the château, which is also confirmed by a legal dispute between him and French tax authorities.
Abramovich declined to comment.
According to information from various media, the castle, which is located in a 12 acre lot in the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea.
It has 12 bedrooms, with eight bathrooms, with a hall, with a kitchen, with a dining room, with a dining room, with a living room, with a main room, with a television room, with a games room, with a library, with an office, among other rooms.
French officials are currently cracking down on the activities of wealthy Russians in their country in order to pressure Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw from the war in Ukraine.
Abramovich, who has a net worth of $ 8.3 billion, is a Kremlin confidante with close ties to Putin.
While Abramovich is sure to be devastated by the seizure of the dozen properties, the home on the French Riviera is said to be particularly important to the oligarch.
He purchased the home – known as Château de la Croë – back in 2001 before spending close to $40 million on renovations.
The billionaire businessman added a rooftop swimming pool, a gigantic gym and a home cinema to the mansion, which was first built back in 1926.
Château de la Croë – which boasts 12 bedrooms and eight bathrooms – is set on 12 acres of lavish land just feet from the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Daily Mail, French authorities have seized and frozen a total of 33 properties from Russians since Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine back in February.
“Freezing property assets mean they can not be sold or used for rental income,” a source stated, saying they hope the move helps Russian oligarchs pressure Putin into ending the war.
“It is all part of the program of sanctions being brought against the Russian Federation in response to its invasion of Ukraine,” the source added.
French authorities are also purportedly seizing superyachts and helicopters from the wealthy Russians. The value of assets seized currently totals more than $27 billion.
The oligarch’s bank accounts have been frozen in the US, as well as in the UK, where he owns Chelsea Football Club. Last month, the English Premier League ordered Abramovich to stop running Chelsea and sell it after he was sanctioned by the British government.
Although Abramovich was spotted at an airport in Israel last month, his current whereabouts have not been confirmed.
READ MORE: Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev turns Onassis island into an Art Island (PHOTOS)